El Salvadorian Tamales

IMG_0389Hello there! Long time, no see! Forgive me for not posting a Sunday’s Post last Sunday and for not posting a Farmers Market Friday this past Friday. As you probably anxiously waited last Sunday for a new recipe, you noticed that there was no new recipe to be shared. Why? Thanksgiving, homework, family, etc. Now I’m not sure if it’s because it is (finally) the holiday season or if it’s because I am a junior in high school. It may very well be a mix of the two but neither of us are so that I can explain the lack of time I’ve had lately. So now to the REAL reason we are both here; Food!

IMG_0391IMG_0399It’s hard to believe that we are one week into December. All across the world, people are beginning to prepare for the crazy weeks coming up. There are 3 weeks left of 2015 until 2016 so whether people are preparing for their winter break, for holidays or for the New Year, you need to begin preparing your menu that you will serve people when they join you for a meal. In need of an idea, look no further.

IMG_0403IMG_0405My number one tip for hosting is that you can’t have a party without a theme. Once you have chosen your theme, you can move on to the planning aspect of the party. Since my  mom is from France, my dad is from El Salvador and my sister and I were born in the US, we typically go with an international/multicultural celebration. With this, we make sure that we have a dish from each country that our guests are from. Take this past Thanksgiving as an example; We had 12 people for Thanksgiving, my mom (France), my dad (El Salvador), my cousin’s son (El Salvadorian but lives in Bangkok, Thailand), our neighbors (France and USA) and some family friends (Czech Republic and Holland). In total, that 5 countries but we had a dish from each country that wither we made or our guests brought. This is a great way to taste new foods and cuisines.

IMG_0409IMG_0410Typically, we use our leftover turkey for an El Salvadorian dish; Pan con Pavo or Tamales. Yes, it is one week late so you might not have anymore turkey yet but this recipe can use beef or chicken, as well. Tamales are usually eaten for big celebration, holidays or family reunions and everyone can enjoy them, everyone from your grandpa who eats soft, baby-like food to your baby cousin who’s diet consists of applesauce and cherrios.You may be intimidated at first to make them but once you get the hang of it, it can be fairly simple. When my mom and I make them, we make a big batch and place extras in the freezer for those days where we don’t feel like cooking. IMG_0415IMG_0413So next time you are in need of a recipe for that big celebration you host or when you and a friend are bored and want to whip up a storm, make everyones belly happy with this one simple recipe. IMG_0420

El Salvadorian Tamales

  • Servings: 25-30
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print


  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 1/2 cups Maseca Instant Corn Masa
  • 2 ounces Sazon Goya seasoning
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 pack of frozen banana leaves, thawed, cut into 9in-by -6in rectangles
  • Aluminum foil, cut into 8in-by-11in rectangles
    • You will need as many rectangles of aluminum foil as banana leaf rectangles
  • 1 pound of meat; chicken, beef, turkey, precooked and seasoned with relajo spice mix
  • 1 pound potatoes, in 1/2 inch cubed
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • Jar of capers, drained
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, cooled, peeled and sliced
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3-4 roasted red bell peppers, sliced
    • Typical Fillings:
      • Meat, Eggs, Capers, Chickpeas, Roasted Bell Peppers, Potatoes, Olives


In a saucepan, heat the chicken broth and water until warm. Add in the oil.

Place the corn masa, Goya seasoning, and salt in a mixer, or in a bowl if making them by hand with a wooden spoon, and slowly mix in the broth mixture.  Mix until you get a cupcake batter-like texture. You may not need all the liquid for this but you should be using most. Make sure there are no lumps in the batter.

Using a paper towel, wipe off the water from the banana leaves. Place 1 banana leaf on 1 sheet of aluminum foil. Add 1/4 cup of corn mix onto the banana leaf. Top with a few pieces of meat, potatoes, chickpeas, capers, carrots, capers and red peppers. Wrap the banana leaf around the tamale and the aluminum foil.

  • Wrapping the banana leaf: Fold one end of the leaf over the opposite end. Fold both unfolded ends towards each other.
  • Wrapping the aluminum foil: Tightly fold one end of the foil over to the opposite end. Roll up the two other ends tightly towards the center but don’t run over the tamale.

Place all the tamales in a big pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes-1hour. When done, they should be firm and not lose their shape when unfolded. Remove from the pot and let cool in the aluminum foil.

Serve hot! Can be stored in the fridge (2days) or freezer (2months) until serving.

Buen Provecho



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s